Tony Stubblebine has written a great post about the lessons he’s learned from Twitter, which was created at Odeo while he was working there. This advice stands out for me:
Have you ever looked at a piece of social software and thought, or worse, blogged, that it was worthless? Here’s a trick for evaluating social software in a way that isn’t going to make you look stupid six months down the road: assume it’s valuable if people are using it. Then try to figure out what value they’re getting.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people be dismissive about Twitter, or Facebook, or another well-loved web tool because they didn’t understand it. I’ve even been guilty of it myself – but it’s not productive. Much better to figure out why people love it and learn from what you discover.